Recipes

Jan 232013
 

Such simple ingredients for such yummy pancakes.

Now, I’ve always loved myself some good pancakes. Pancakes soaked with real maple syrup, maybe a pad of melting butter. Thin pancakes. Thick pancakes. I like pancakes so much that I would tease my wife by playing the Marvin Pontiac (John Lurie) song “You Never Make Me Pancakes” and look at her with puppy dog eyes… and then go make myself some pancakes.

These days, though, I need to watch what I eat to feel my best, so I’ve taken to eating more simple, primal foods. No more big plates of carbo-grains drenched with liquid sugar. These banana pancakes are perfect. The ingredients are basic. The preparation easy. I happen to like the taste and texture. They need no added sugar, not even my favorite sweetener: maple syrup. They puff up fine without flour or leavening. I never feel rotten or sluggish after finishing a plate.

Let me also mention that I probably make them a little differently every time, yet they always come out good. So, add more or less banana to your taste, from as little as 1/2 a banana, up to two bananas. These are a great way to use up those really brown/black bananas. Add more or less nut flour to your taste, or use different nut flours, or use a few tablespoons of nut butter, or a tablespoon of coconut flour instead. Toss in some vanilla or cinnamon or chocolate chips if it’s your want. Drizzle with a tiny bit of maple syrup if you really need the fix, or cover them in sliced strawberries or bananas. Add a pinch of salt if you crave it. It’s all good.

BananaPancakes

Banana Almond Pancakes

2 Eggs
1 Ripe Banana
1/3 Cup Almond Flour

Heat a flat pan to medium.

In a bowl scramble up the eggs. Add the banana and mash it into the eggs as smooth or as chunky as you’d like. Add the almond flour and stir until blended into a batter.

Drop some butter or oil (coconut or grapeseed perhaps) into the pan. Pour in the batter to form small pancakes. I typically use about 1/4 cup each. Cook until puffed and browned. Flip to brown both sides. Eat ’em up!

 

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Oct 012012
 

Here’s a great recipe for those trying to reduce their carb load, yet who still want desert-like goodies to snack on. I brought the chocolate chip variation to a party the other week and they were gobbled up.

NOTE 1: Using butter or Earth Balance will give more of an old-school buttery flavor, while coconut oil will add a coconut overtone and a slightly harder texture. All three are good, just different, so use what you prefer or need for your diet. Coconut oil should always be used by those following a primal diet, but people not familiar with coconut oil may prefer the other options.

NOTE 2: There are two reasons to choose between maple syrup or agave syrup. First, there’s your taste preference. Second, and more importantly to me, there’s the glycemic-index. Agave is low-glycemic and considered better for diabetic conditions, while maple syrup has less fructose and is better for fructose malabsorption conditions. I use maple syrup.

NOTE 3: With only walnuts you’ll have a very mildly sweetened scone and the walnuts will add a nice variety in the taste and texture.  Adding Chocolate chunks/chips makes these into something more like a chocolate chip cookie. I’ll  switch between the two, sometimes using half and half depending on if I want more of a dessert or a snack. I personally find a full cup of chocolate chunks/chips way too sweet for my taste, so I rarely go over 1/2 cup if only I’m eating them.

Almond Flour Scones

2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened butter, or Earth Balance
1/8 cup maple syrup or agave syrup
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Up to 1 cup walnuts or dark chocolate chunks/chips, or a mix of both

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients except for walnuts or chocolate until smooth. Stir in walnuts or chocolate. Form 10-12 scones on cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until slightly browned.

Almond Flour Chocolate Cookie

Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and an additional 1/8 cup of syrup to the above recipe to transform it into a chocolate cookie. The sugar load is a bit high for me, but I wanted to include this variation for those looking for a way to twist the recipe further into dessert territory.

Alternate Sweetener Substitution

I don’t tolerate many artificial sweeteners,but if you need to totally cut out all sugar you can adapt the recipe by substituting half of the butter/oil with grape seed oil and using 4 packets of any alternate sweetener like Sweet ‘n Low or Stevia instead of the syrup.

 

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May 012012
 

A friend mentioned wanting to get more greens into their diet, so I thought I’d post a really fast, easy, and tasty way to cook up kale. Takes less than five minutes to make from start to finish. I’ve eaten this as breakfast or lunch, but it would also make a good side dish at dinner.

Use a skillet on a stove top set to medium heat. Grab some kale leaves. Rinse. Still wet, rip the leaves into bite sized pieces and toss into the still heating pan. Don’t shake off the water, as it helps steam the kale. Also, thick stems require more chewing, so you may optionally wish to leave them out. Kale cooks down quite a bit, so for one serving I fill the bottom of a 10″ iron skillet. This gives you one small bowl, like in the photo above.

Next pour about 1 tsp of flavored oil onto the bottom of the now hot pan. My favorites are chili oil or sesame oil. A mix of both works nicely as well. Try different flavored oils for variety. Swish the kale around the skillet to coat.

Add a tablespoon of cooking wine or water. I usually use a Chinese Fukien rice wine because I like how it mildly enhances the flavor. At this stage the liquid will further steam the kale, keep it from burning, and add a nice emerald color. Let it cook for a few minutes until it’s wilted and tender.

Toss in a handful of walnuts and stir.

Scoop into a bowl and enjoy.

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Dec 192011
 

My friend, J. Kathleen Cheney, posted a link to a recipe for Habañero Brownies that sounded absolutely fantastic. Chocolate! Hot Peppers! Yum!

Since I still had hot peppers in the freezer from my crop this past summer, I decided I had to try adapting the recipe. I keep gluten-free and lactose-free and generally low-sugar and carb, so I figured I might as well go all out and try twisting the recipe up until it was gluten-free, vegan, white sugar free, and low carb. It turned out good enough that I’ll definitely be making it again!

Of course, if you can eat the original gluten, dairy, and sugar filled recipe, I’m absolutely sure it’s sweeter, richer, and tasty! The link is above. I hear it’s a most wonderful spicy brownie!

Also, if you don’t need/want to keep sugar-free or vegan, I included ingredient options that should also work. I haven’t tried all variations, but my experimentation tells me the substitutions should work. Let me know if you try a variation.

Also, I personally prefer very dark rich chocolate — 80% or darker — and not overly sweet. If you prefer sweeter chocolate goodies, try one of the secondary sweetness options I included in the recipe and let me know how it turns out.

Nearly Primal Spicy Habañero Brownies

Brownie Ingredients:

  • 4 oz unsweetened bar chocolate
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine, grape seed oil, or butter
  • 1 fresh habañero (add 1 or 2 more for spicier!)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • Juice from the zested orange (Grate zest for both brownies and icing first. About 2 TBSP juice.)
  • Choose a sweetness option:
    • LOW SUGAR: 10 packets of your favorite low-cal sweetener.
    • ALTERNATE SWEET: 1 cup of agave syrup
    • OLD SCHOOL SWEET & RICH:  1 1/2 cups of sugar and
      an additional 1/2 cup of butter.
  • 4 eggs  or  Egg Replacer and water to equal 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2.5 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup walnuts

Icing:

  • 2 TBSP Cream Cheese (Can use dairy-free Tofutti “Better Than Cream Cheese”)
  • 3 TBSP Earth Balance or butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp Hatch Chili  or ground smoked chipotle pepper  or  other hot chili powder (More for spicier.)
  • 3 tsp cinnamon (I prefer Vietnamese)
  • 4 packets of favorite powdered sweetener or enough powdered sugar to make it sweet and creamy

 

Brownie Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F; grease one 8×8″ baking pan.

Melt chocolate and butter at low heat. Stir to avoid burning.

Very finely dice habañero pepper and add it to chocolate mixture. Also add orange zest and juice. Set aside.

Combine sweetener (Stevia, agave, or sugar) and eggs or egg substitute. If using regular sugar add the extra butter/oil now as well. Blend until smooth.

Add baking soda and almond flour to the egg mixture and mix until incorporated.

Add chocolate mixture to the batter and mix well.

Fold in walnuts.

Pour batter into baking pan. If it’s thick, pat it flat. Bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into brownie comes out clean. While cooking, make frosting.

 

Frosting Direction:

Mix all ingredients until nice and soft, but not liquified. Taste test. Add more Stevia or powdered sugar until sweet enough for you. Add more chili pepper until as hot as you’d like.

 

When brownies are done, remove the pan from the oven and let cool. When cool enough to not melt the frosting, frost the top.

Devour. I’m currently on my second piece. That was a tasty breakfast.

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